In San Francisco Friday night, people were out enjoying their last weekend of going out to eat until next year.
For a lot of people, meeting up outdoors at a restaurant or bar these last few months has helped keep them going. Now, they’re not only sad for themselves, but for the businesses that have become a second home.
The space outside of Robber Baron is fondly called “the beach”. But for a group of friends who live nearby, it’s where everybody knows their name.
Sunny Nelson of San Francisco said, “The Fridays here have helped me maintain some sort of normalcy and life and a new cadence outside of working in my 450-square-foot apartment.”
They don’t get why businesses like Robber Baron have to close their outdoor areas. “If you can’t tell me there’s scientific correlation to that, then to tell me you’re going to shut down these mom and pop businesses, I think it’s wrong,” Rachel Fohrman of San Francisco said.
But Robber Baron’s owner, Lucre Torres, said she understands the reasoning. “Is this the right thing to do? 100% it is,” Torres said. “100% it’s the right thing to do, because we don’t want it to continue on in 2021.”
And she’ll adjust, again, by turning her bar’s window into a tamale window and delivering wine to her customers’ homes. “I’m going to steal my Aunt Chata Bravo’s famous pickled onion salsa, so it’s going to be great,” Torres said.
Laurie Thomas, who’s executive director of the Golden Gate Restaurant Association, said the timing of this is what’s hardest to swallow.“Everybody sort of said yesterday (Thursday), ‘oh, we have a week or two, we’re going to see what’s gonna happen, maybe we’ll get a week off around Christmas,’” Thomas said. “But none of us expected a 30-day closure before the state.”
Retail stores will remain open this holiday season, but only at 20% capacity. That means those long lines you saw outside of stores back in March will probably be back.